As 3D printing opens more doors for creativity and improving the manufacturing efficiency, it also brings along questions about piracy issues and how intellectual property ownership will be protected, as reported in American University Intellectual Property Brief Article.
According to the Swedish online piracy service The Pirate Bay the consumers will download 3D print designs online in a similar manner as they currently download books, movies, programs and music. Some simple CAD designs are already available for download.
Where The Pirate Bay’s debate goes to say 3D printing will end child labor and feed the hungry, the copyright and patent holders are not so enthusiastic about the direction of the development.
Traditionally 3D printing designs have been difficult to replicate, but this might not be the case anymore as the programs and tools to build the designs have evolved rapidly.
The question remains where to draw the boundaries of printing useful everyday objects that don’t violate IPO laws. This could potentially cause major losses for large corporations such as Nike that has been often used as an example in conversations related to the topic.
If looking at the issue geographically, the 3rd World countries where the populations are large and corruption high, this could really be a major problem, where the authorities would have even less control over protecting copyright laws.
Right now the current law is still undecided. No matter what, the 3D printing technology will evolve and is not likely to disappear, on the contrary. Perhaps vast decisions are needed to satisfy all parties involved.